Editorial: What would Measure H voters want?
We hope that what is now an apparent difference of opinion between the Town of Truckee and the Sierra Joint Community College District doesn’t turn into a prolonged bureaucratic sumo match.As we reported last week, the town and college district are at odds over whether plans to build a Sierra College campus on Truckee’s McIver Hill have to comply with town standards, require town permits and receive town approval. Essentially, that means the district’s project would be treated like any other development application, which normally takes approximately eight months to complete.District officials, however, see it differently. They point to a state statute that does not require community colleges to comply with local planning regulations.Despite the interpretations of law, it sounds like both sides may be willing to find some common ground. Town officials have said that since the project is one they support, it is likely they can shave time off the normal eight-month project approval process. District officials, meanwhile, have said they are working to make the project compatible with Truckee’s development code.All that is well and fine, but lost in the discussion are We the People. Yes, the voters in Truckee – a good 70 percent of them – approved Measure H, the $35 million school facilities improvement district passed in November 2004. That self-imposed tax will cover the cost of building the 40,000-square-foot campus and accouterments on McIver Hill.It’s a safe bet that those folks who are putting up the money for this whole project would demand that everything is done by the book – one found right here in Truckee – whether mandated by the state or not.That would include making sure that, for example, traffic issues and pertinent fees are covered; that ambient light radiating from the hilltop campus doesn’t turn the center of Truckee into another Boreal glow; and that the project isn’t visible from Interstate 80.State statute or not, We the People voted for a $35 million good-faith effort to be made, not to watch a bureaucratic wrestling match.
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